The Piano

When shopping for a used piano, Orvel Ray answered a newspaper ad. The piano was a beautiful upright in a massive walnut cabinet. The seller was asking $1,000, and it would have been a bargain at that price, but Orvel had received a $700 tax refund and had set this windfall as the limit that he could afford to invest. He searched for a negotiating advantage. The seller is not willing to sell the piano for less than $400.

He was able to deduce several facts from the surroundings. The piano was in a furnished basement, which also contained a set of drums and an upright acoustic bass. Obviously, the seller was a serious musician, who probably played jazz. There had to be a compelling reason for selling such a beautiful instrument.

Orvel asked the first, obvious question, “Are you buying a new piano?” The seller hesitated. “Well, I don’t know yet. See, we’re moving out of the province and it would be very expensive to ship this piano clear across the country.”

Orvel “Did they say how much extra it would cost?”

Seller “They said an extra $300 or so.”

Orvel “When do you have to decide?”

Seller “The packers are coming this afternoon”


  • Provide the BATNA for both the seller and Orvel. (4 Marks)
  • What is the target point for both the seller and Orvel? (4 Marks)
  • Based on the information in the case, what is the resistance point for both parties? (4 marks)
  • What is the Bargaining Zone in this case? (4 marks)
  • Name one tangible and one intangible factor of this negotiation (4 marks)

Tangible factor –

Intangible factor –

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